Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Pete Namlook and Dr Atmo
Silence I


Released 1992 on Fax +49-69/450464
Reviewed by xyz, 01/11/2000ce


Pete Namlook has been described as a guy who has his own record label, his own studio, and doesn't give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks about what he does. Right on! Since starting fax records back in 1992CE this German post Krautrock electronic musician has released somewhere in the region of two hundred albums, many his own work or collaborations with people from the world of Krautrock, ambient, jazz etc. Fax records is less of a label, more of a culture with each disc release in limited runs of 1000 or 2000 copies, with the most popular titles then released in greater quantities. The sound of the label can't be pinned down stylistically, but by far the most common musical form could fall under the wide umbrella of ambient. Silence I is one such disc.

One of the very first lp's to appear on the label, this was issued way back when ambient music was all the rage, being a genre defining piece. And it still is. The classic pairing of Namlook and Dr Atmo (another German ambient space cadet) delivered four slowly evolving pieces of chilled minimalistic ambience. Omid/Hope opens the scoring with slow strings welling up, interupted by Namlooks analogue squeals and a male voice adding some afirmative soundbites, before chilled piano loops and beats are introduced. Next up is the gorgeous Garden of Dreams. The track lives up to its name, transporting the listener to a far out world of lush atmospherics built around the familiar Namlook vocal pad sound. This is haunting gothic-style ambience, describing a deep and exotic place. In contrast the next track, Santur, is more Atmo than Namlook. Atmo takes us back to his roots with a Middle Eastern influenced piece, complete with guitar, vocal and rhythm parts. Finally its left to the shimmering Trip to take us some place else. A cyclic track based upon bells and and washes of wave-like harmonics that builds and builds with its hypnotic groove. Like a vast black hole this track pulls the listener in with its repetetive spirals. A timeless and consistent release that proves that less really is more, and far superior to the follow up volumes. Certainly one for the peaceful hours.


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